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What was the effects of the Blitz on everyday life in Britain?Please could you include:...
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High School Teacher
The intended effect of The Blitz was to demoralize the British citizenry, open the way to an eventual invasion of the island and ultimately force a surrender. This obviously did not succeed, although the final tabulation of more than 50,000 civilian deaths and one million homes destroyed turned the everyday lives of the English people upside down.
Beginning in September 1940, German air strikes hit London for 57 consecutive nights, and during the nearly 10 months of bombings that ended in May 1941, more than 43,000 civilians were killed. Since London was the main target of German air attacks, many of the citizens moved to the countryside to avoid the constant destruction. Some Londoners remained away from the city, while many who maintained their jobs merely made longer commutes each day.
Although the city remained in a constant state of rebuilding, the extensive tube stations were used for temporary shelters during bombings and for civilians whose homes had been destroyed. The government, however, discouraged a general "shelter mentality," instead opting for the construction of Anderson shelters--sturdy structures built in back yards which could house up to six people.
The repeated bombings did force the British to upgrade their air defenses, which in turn helped to combat the assaults as well as uplift civilian spirits. Civilians joined many volunteer organizations, such as the Home Guard, Auxiliary Fire Service, and the Blitz Scouts.
Later raids included the retaliatory 1942 Baedeker Blitz, which concentrated on destroying historic, non-strategic structures in Canterbury, Bath, York and Exeter; and the Baby Blitz (Nov. 1943-Jan. 1944), which actually cost Germany the loss of well over 300 aircraft.
Posted by bullgatortail on October 6, 2009 at 6:17 AM (Answer #1)
This is a very long, multi-part question. What I'm going to try to do is give you something very brief on each part and then add links so you can get more information as needed.
Evacuation: many children, pregnant women, and old people were evacuated to places less likely to be bombed. See first link below, esp. the first two paragraphs.
Morale: this, of course, is hard to measure. Some people's morale stayed high while others' didn't. Overall, though, the people managed to keep their spirits up through great hardship.
Daily life: the blitz was, of course, very disruptive. It deprived people of sleep, made some of them take shelter in subway stations, etc.
Home Guard: though set up to be more of a military organization for if England was invaded, these men helped during the Blitz by clearing rubble, preventing looting, etc. See third link.
Work and volunteering: many people were of course put out of work by the bomb damage. There was a great deal of volunteering by people who would pitch in to help wherever and whenever they could.
Sorry for the sketchy answer, but it would be easier to give a more in-depth answer if these question were a bit less broad.
Posted by pohnpei397 on October 6, 2009 at 5:06 AM (Answer #2)
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